LIMERICK along with London and Paris have been selected as finalists to host the 2018 Gay Games, with the Treaty City’s suitability to host the games, worth €50m to the economy, due to be assessed shortly.
The three cities were shortlisted from a list of five which included Amsterdam and Orlando.
If successful in the process the 2018 Gay Games will attract in excess of 10,000 participants and approximately 12,000 spectators to Limerick and the surrounding areas in August 2018. The University of Limerick will be transformed into The Gay Games Village where the majority of events will take place.
Cillian Flynn, communications director for Limerick’s bid, said they are “absolutely delighted to be shortlisted.
“We believe that Limerick has the facilities and infrastructure to host the event. We also have the desire and determination to be successful in the bidding process and deliver an event that not just Limerick, but Ireland has never seen before. We look forward to welcoming the site selection committee from the Federation of Gay Games to our warm and embracing city in July of this year.”
Dennis Sneyers, officer for site selection, said competition to host the games in 2018 has brought “particularly outstanding bids from Amsterdam, Limerick, London, Orlando and Paris. Each group has brought a truly distinctive take on what the Gay Games can be, and has enriched our own thinking about our event. All have been highly professional and responsive to the demands of our bidding process.”
John James Hickey, bid co-ordinator for Limerick, said it’s a “momentous and historic day” as Limerick is the first Irish city to be nominated for this event.
Organisers behind the games will visit the city next month, paying special attention to the facilities that Limerick will use should the city be chosen as host. Some of the venues include the UL Arena, Thomond Park, the Lime Tree Theatre, the UL Activity Centre in Killaloe and the facilities at Ballyhoura.
The announcement of the winning city will be made at the Federation of Gay Games Annual Conference on October 7 in Cleveland, Ohio – host city of the 2014 Gay Games.
Ireland was well represented at the last Gay Games in Cologne in 2010 where in excess of 100 competitors were registered from Ireland, with Team Cork taking home 27 medals.
Entry to the next stage carries a price tag of approximately €10,000, in addition to the same sum already invested into the bid process.